(Toledo, OH) Northwest Ohio farmers are being indirectly blamed for toxic algae blooms on Lake Erie.
A U.S.-Canadian agency reports commercial fertilizer and manure are the top two sources of phosphorus pollution in western Lake Erie. The International Joint Commission is basing the conclusion on its analysis of existing data about the shallowest basin in the Great Lakes.
Excessive phosphorus has fueled toxic algae blooms and created a "dead zone" where oxygen levels are too low for fish to survive.
The analysis finds excess fertilizer phosphorus in farm soils and nearby ditches, buffer zones and wetlands could affect lake nutrient levels for decades to come.